Fire alarms, pet carriers and traveling tips

Earlier this evening the fire alarm went off in my building. I stuck my head out into the hallway and didn’t smell smoke, but panicked anyway.

After dragging Josh out of bed, I started trying to round up my cats and get them into carriers – just in case. (If nothing else, I was going to save my cats, my computer, and my cell phone.)  I managed to get three of my fuzzies into carriers, but the rest hid under the couch.

It’s a good thing that it wound up not being a big deal, because I don’t even have enough cat carriers to get them all out. I have two small one-cat carriers and one larger one that will comfortably fit two or three, depending on the cats I put in it. That leaves at least two without a way out.

Thankfully, the big ladder firetruck pulled up; two people ran out to meet one of the firemen; he grabbed a fire extinguisher, and… that was it. All I know is that it wasn’t on my floor.

But now I need to buy some cat carriers, just in case.

These tips for traveling with your pets, courtesy of can also fit the “in case of an emergency” situation I went through earlier. Pay close attention to the Relaxing Your Pet instructions. Apparently freaking out in the middle of the living room is not going to coax my cats out of hiding.

Helpful tips for traveling with your pet:

·         Consider your pet’s needs.  Distance, location, temperature, mode of travel, your pet’s health, age, etc. are all important factors to consider before traveling. Remember that your pet is very sensitive to change, and when stressed, the immune system is likely to become weakened, so be sure to boost immunity prior to travel.

·         Packing & preparation. Remember the essentials like medications and medical records, food and bowls, a pet first aid kit, bedding, carrier, tags, and toys.

·         Before any trip, make a quick stop at your vet to have your pet examined to make sure vaccinations are up to date, and to get any medications your pet might need, etc.

·         Relaxing your pet.  Anxiety and car sickness are two of the most common concerns amongst pet owners. For anxiety, take your pet on short trips regularly to help accustom him to traveling, and remember to bring a favorite toy or blanket. If traveling by car, make sure the vehicle is well-ventilated, and open a window if necessary.

Helpful tips for boarding your pet:

·         Make a reservation. Boarding facilities become hectic during the holiday season, so be sure to book in advance.

·         Find out what’s permitted. Certain toys may be dangerous for other animals and prohibited.

·         Leave favorite items at home. Keep in mind that boarding facilities deal with many pets and owners a day, meaning that your pet’s favorite item may end up in someone else’s hands.

·         Leave your emergency numbers. Always provide your personal contact info, and even the hotel or house you will be staying at just in case.

·         If your pet is on medication, verbally tell someone in the facility about medication needs and also leave instructions.

·         Bring the essentials. Include a list of feeding instructions for your pet along with an unopened bag of food. In some cases, there may be times when another animal eats out of your pet’s dish;  sending a fresh bag of food will ensure your pet has enough of his/her food to last while you are away.


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